How to Tell a Male From a Female Yellow-Belly Turtle

Updated February 21, 2017

Yellow-belly turtles are also known as yellow-bellied sliders or as cooter turtles. They are aquatic turtles, spending most of their time in the water, and are easy to care for. If you are planning on breeding your turtle, the ability to sex it is essential to the endeavour. However, yellow-belly turtles have the disadvantage of not displaying any overt sexual differences until they are full-grown.

Measure the turtle's shell from head to tail. As adults, females tend to be larger than males. While adult males are typically between 5 and 8 inches long, females usually grow to be between 8 and 13 inches long.

Look at the tails. At maturity, male yellow-belly turtles have thicker tails.

Examine the turtle's front feet. Males have longer claws on their front feet, while females have shorter claws.

Turn the turtle over carefully to look at the plastron, the ventral side of the shell. The male's plastron is convex, bending toward the upper shell, while the female's is concave, allowing her to hold eggs.

Look between the turtle's hind legs. Both males and females have single openings between their legs, known as cloaca. In females the cloaca is positioned closer to the shell, while the cloaca in males is located closer to the tail.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
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